PHOENIX -- Josh Reddick was all smiles Saturday when he reported to camp, and the reason became clear later when the A's right fielder agreed to a $2.7 million, one-year deal to avoid an arbitration hearing.
With the new deal, the A's underscored the important role Reddick has in their plans going forward. It's also nice boost from the $510,000 he made a year ago, when Reddick had an injury-plagued season he wouldn't wish on anybody -- not even someone from Georgia Tech.
Reddick, a die-hard University of Georgia man, crashed into a metal wall pursuing a foul fly on the first road trip of the 2013 season in Houston, injured his right wrist and never fully recovered.
He tried to play though the pain for a few weeks but wound up on the disabled list twice, "the second time knowing I'd have to have surgery this winter," he said Saturday shortly after reporting to the A's camp.
While healthy now, Reddick said playing through the initial injury was the wrong approach.
"Knowing what I know now, I would go on the disabled list right away," Reddick said of the injury. "When I eventually did go on the disabled list, I was thinking to myself, 'I should have done this three weeks ago.'
"I couldn't dive. I couldn't throw. I couldn't hit. But if I'd gone on the disabled list right away and gotten it right, who knows what kind of season I could have had last year."
The wrist surgery went well, Reddick spent his time doing rehab work rather than being out on the golf course, and he comes into 2014 a new man.
"It was tough not to be able to do things this offseason," he said. "Usually there's a lot of golf and travel. I didn't do either. But the wrist is fine, I feel healthy again and I'm ready to go out and try to be the player I was in 2012 and not 2013."
In 2012, Reddick's first season in Oakland, he led the A's with 32 home runs and 85 RBIs while hitting .242. Between stops on the D.L. last season, he hit just .226 with 12 homers and 56 RBIs.
"The hurt wrist made it tough physically and mentally," he said. "But that's behind me now. I spent a lot of the offseason away from baseball, not thinking about it, and now that spring training is here I will.
"But I'm not focused at all on the injury. I'm just looking now to get back to being the player I was in 2012."
It so happens that falls neatly in line with manager Bob Melvin's expectations for Reddick. Melvin said he doesn't believe the outfielder will need to be held back in spring training, and the results of Saturday's physical exam confirmed that.
"He's not even going to have to think about the wrist," Melvin said. "And really, that's half the battle."
Even when the offense wasn't pouring out of Reddick's bat, Melvin needed him in right field because of his defense, and at least the threat of his power.
"He's a two-way player," general manager Billy Beane said. "A run saved is a run batted in. Defense is harder to quantify than offense, but we can, and he's one of those players who can play when not hitting."
The goal now is to have Reddick's all-out, headfirst fielding and laser-like throwing be just part of the contribution as Reddick's threat on offense returns.
"I'm always going to play defense the same way, although now I find myself checking the outfield to see which areas are padded and which aren't," he said. "I'm still going all out, but it's good to know where things are. I'm ready to compete again.''